A large country mansion isn't required to provide the Manchester Toy Terrier with a happy home. They are quite happy to settle for an apartment life, or a busy suburban environment.
The dog has a lot of energy, but it is quite content to let it off indoors. For that reason alone, you might want to think about protecting any valuable ornaments dotted around the house. It can be quite a destructive pet if denied attention, and when combined with some amazing agility, the Toy Terrier isn't afraid to make your home its play den.
The Manchester Toy prefers a warm climate, but preferably not suffocating humidity. As you can probably guess by the name, it is well adapted to the neutral appeal of an English climate where it was originally bred.
A yard or garden isnt necessary, but the dog will enjoy any open spaces and it can help your own cause to let it burn off some serious steam outside. All yards and gardens should have sufficient fencing to stop the Toy Terrier from running off and satisfying its adventurous spirit.
The Toy Manchester Terrier is one of two variations in the Manchester Terrier group. The other is known as a Standard Terrier. The Toy Terrier is distinguishable by its tiny size and erect ears. It has a large head which looks almost out of place on such a slender body, and you can clearly recall the dog's whippet heritage by the curve in the back.
All Toy Manchester Terriers have a small black nose and the coat is thin and glossy, usually either jet black or tan.
As you'd imagine with a dog tracing back to the whippet, Toy Terriers are incredibly quick and capable of displaying a great deal of agility. They are full of energy but their small size means that you don't have to possess a sprawling country mansion to be able to satisfy their needs.
The dog is recognizable by its tiny eyes, usually almond style with brown irises. Also recognizable is the tail, which resembles a whip and ends with a point.
The coat of a Toy Manchester Terrier requires very little grooming to stay looking and feeling healthy. It is naturally very smooth, and nearly always comes in either black or a dark tan.
The coat is soft on the hands and never rough to touch. It can appear shiny and rich when well kept, and professional breeders pay a great deal of attention to maintaining such a glossy look.
Originally developed as a vermin chaser in the 1800's, the main purpose of the Toy Manchester Terrier was to catch and kill rodents. While the dog is rarely, if ever, purchased for this reason today, the terrier is still capable of catching rats and mice.
John Hulme was the man responsible for the original Manchester terrier, although his creation has been watered down by two variations of the dog; standard and toy. The original was conceived via the crossing of a whippet with a Black and Tan Terrier. So fast was the Toy Manchester that legend has it, the dog could dispose of 100 rats in less than 10 minutes.
It wasn't until the late 1800's and the reign of Queen Victoria that the Toy Manchester breeds became so popular. In an era where tiny was the hottest trend in town, the miniscule dogs were seen as the must-have pet of the time. So much so that several dogs were scaled in at less than 1kg; a frightening weight indeed.
In the modern day, Toy Manchester Terriers are quite a rare find. Their popularity has slowly faded with the rise of ways to dispose with vermin. Despite that, the dog remains a popular choice as a companion for the elderly. It is no more popular in Manchester than it is in the rest of England, despite what the name would suggest.
This dog is known for its enthusiastic and often wild nature. There is no questioning the intelligence of the Manchester Toy and it will display a great eagerness to engage its owners, sometimes over-stepping the mark in the process.
It loves to be the center of attention and doesn't like being skipped over or hidden in the corner of the room at a social gathering. For that reason, the dog is seen as a popular choice for elderly owners living on their own. It makes a great one person dog and thrives from the attention. Being so easy to maintain and requiring little space adds to the appeal for older dog lovers.
The Manchester Terriers are not afraid of making noise to get their point across and it is important to train them at an early age. Failure to do so will result in a stubborn little dog with a tremendous bark, and a lot of headaches for the unsuspecting owner.
It will bark if it needs your attention, or if it feels that you have been neglecting it for a lengthy period. The Toy can also be quite destructive if left to its own devices and denied the loving attention of its owner.
If you are looking for a dog which is going to take care of itself with minimal fuss, the Manchester Toy Terrier probably isn't right for you.
They are, however, fast learners and infectious with their spirit. The dog should be socialized around young children from an early age if you wish to keep it as a family pet. It will also need to be introduced to smaller animals as a puppy, as it isn't likely to enjoy their company if thrust in to the situation as a fully grown dog.
The Toy Manchester is great at party tricks and one of the very best at games of catch. It will love the opportunity to flaunt its audacious agility and makes for a good running companion with its never-ending reserves of energy.
Unfortunately, this is a breed which has the tendency to produce snappy and stubborn dogs if the training isn't up to scratch. It is very important that the Toy Terrier is mixed with strangers as a puppy. Failure to do so will result in an over-protective pet which takes issue in not being given your complete attention around other people.
Keep the dog on a leash when walking it in busy areas. Also take note that it is not particularly keen on cold or damp weather. This can lead to illness in the Manchester Toy breed, so think twice before taking it on a grueling walk through the bitter winter cold.
The biggest concern with the Toy Manchester Terrier is their sensitivity to the sun. Neglect in soaring temperatures can lead to sores and heat bumps along the dog's back. This in turn can lead to more severe skin ailments, for which the breed is known to suffer.
There has been evidence presented regarding the breed's weakness for developing Glaucoma, and other blood related diseases. This has never been proven for all dogs in the group, but it is a definite issue in certain lines. Another documented blood related disorder von Willebrands disease. It produces blood wounds, sores and eventually infections, although the dog is capable of fighting and surviving it.
The Toy Terrier is generally quite resilient when it comes to bone injuries and muscle tear, but the ball of the hip is seen as a weakness. Watch out for a Slipped stifle too.
The Manchester Toy Terrier is very easy to groom, partly due to its small frame, and partly due to its naturally glossy coat. You should make a habit of giving it a daily brush down, with a standard brush. This alone is usually enough to leave a shiny coat which looks healthy and clean.
Bathing is only necessary when the dog visibly needs to be washed down; otherwise it will keep it nice and clean. The domestic nature of most Manchester Toys means that they rarely make a mess of themselves, and they certainly don't need as much time and attention as a country bred dog would.
The ear canals should be kept clean and washed on a regular basis. This will help to prevent infections and potential hearing difficulties as the dog grows older, particularly as this breed lives for quite a long time.
Combing isn't necessary due to the nature of the coat, and only a small number of Manchester Toy Terriers actually shed hair. The ones that do will only shed a tiny amount during the warm season and this is easily dealt with by a quick brush over.
Claws should be kept nice and short, and they need to be trimmed quite often.
Due to its small nature, it is easy to give the Manchester Toy Terrier ample opportunity to exercise and you won't have to put yourself through the mill to do so.
The dog is extremely fast across the ground, and you can clearly see why it was such a popular breed for vermin catching all those years ago. Also noticeable is the supreme agility. It loves to play catch and will enjoy the many variations of fetch that you can strike up to play with it.
The Toy Terrier is also an able swimmer, aided by its small frame. The dog will enjoy long strolls in the country, even if it isn't necessary or possible in a city environment.
Many owners choose to train it in to a running companion, or even a cycling companion. Be careful when introducing your dog to this kind of activity as the Toy Terrier does tend to over-exert itself in the boiling heat. It will run and run all day long, and the spirit of the terrier will have it coming back for more-even when it's not particularly healthy. Nobody can doubt the stamina of this tiny pet, just be careful not to over-work it.
Training is extremely important in the case of the Toy Manchester, both in terms of social bonding, and in obedience to its owner. The dog may be small, but it can stir up a riot with its lightening speed and loud barking penchant.
As with most dogs, it should be mixed in to social groups from an early age, preferably while still a puppy. Many Toy Manchester Terriers are taken as pets by elderly owners who live on their own. In this case, social bonding isn't such an issue, but it is still well worth getting the puppy used to strangers as their bark of uncertainty can be quite a nuisance while you're trying to greet a friend!
It is important to bond the dog with children as well, also from an early age. Toy Manchesters are capable of showing affection to kids, but they must be taught good discipline early on. Given the right training, they can be well behaved and a friendly companion to children, no matter how young or loud.
Their inquisitive nature makes them ideal for training as a watch dog, although a role as a guard dog is out of the question for obvious reasons-they're tiny!
Renowned as fast learners, you should have no problem teaching the dog new tricks. They love to show off and will be only too keen to learn the next attention stealer.
It is also possible to mould the Manchester Terrier in to a brilliant work-out companion. Whether it be running through the park or cycling through woodland, the Toy Terrier will be happy to oblige. Training should be a gradual process where strenuous exercise is concerned. Don't just pedal off in to the sunset and expect your poor pet to keep up with you. It won't be appreciated and you'll have an exhausted puppy on your hands, because this particular breed isn't well versed in knowing when to stop.
It is an excellent problem solving dog, with a cunning mind and a quick thinking zest. You'll often be surprised by the Toy Terrier's ability to capture your attention. Obedience training is important, particularly with such a loud, neighbor-waking bark at its disposal.